Scott sues Broward elec­tions su­per­vi­sor over bal­lot de­lay

The Bradenton Herald - - Front Page - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH KOH AND STEVE BOUS­QUET


Rick Scott filed suit against Broward County Elec­tions Su­per­vi­sor Brenda Snipes over the county’s de­lay in com­plet­ing its count of the votes from the midterm elec­tion. Scott sued as a can­di­date for the U.S. Se­nate, not in his ca­pac­ity as gov­er­nor of Florida.

Scott fol­lowed up by lash­ing out at Snipes in an ex­tra­or­di­nary press con­fer­ence at the Gov­er­nor’s Man­sion on

Thurs­day night.

Broward County lags the rest of the state in com­plet­ing the first, cru­cial phases of count­ing bal­lots from Tues­day’s midterm elec­tion. As of 8 p.m. Thurs­day, the same time the gov­er­nor sum­moned re­porters to the man­sion, Broward County was the only one of the state’s 67 coun­ties that had not re­ported to the state that it had com­pleted its tab­u­la­tion of early votes. Early vot­ing ended

Sun­day in Broward.

Just be­fore 8 p.m., Broward County’s elec­tions web­site was up­dated to in­di­cate it had com­pleted its count of mail votes, but that was not re­flected on the state’s web­site. Palm Beach County was also shown on the state web­site as not hav­ing com­pleted its count of mail vot­ing.

“The peo­ple of Florida de­serve fair­ness and trans­parency, and the [su­per­vi­sors] are fail­ing to give it to them,” said Scott, who was him­self sued mul­ti­ple times for vi­o­lat­ing pub­lic records and Sun­shine laws while gov­er­nor.

Scott called out both Snipes

and Palm Beach County Su­per­vi­sor Su­san Bucher, but only Snipes was named in the suit.

Mean­while, three statewide races — in­clud­ing Scott’s own against U.S. Sen. Bill Nel­son — hang in the bal­ance. Scott held a nar­row .18 per­cent mar­gin over Nel­son, 15,092 votes. The gap nar­rowed by about 6,800 votes Thurs­day.

In the gov­er­nor’s race be­tween Repub­li­can Ron DeSan­tis and Demo­crat An­drew Gil­lum, the mar­gin shrank from .52 per­cent to .44 per­cent Thurs­day, putting it in the range for an au­to­matic ma­chine re­count. DeSan­tis’ lead was 36,223 votes but that was down about 6,700 from Thurs­day morn­ing.

And in the most sig­nif­i­cant swing, the race for com­mis­sioner of agri­cul­ture and con­sumer ser­vices swung com­pletely. The day started with Demo­crat Nikki Fried trail­ing Matt Cald­well by about 4,000 votes but by the time the gov­er­nor started speak­ing to the me­dia, Fried was ahead by about 2,900 votes, .04 per­cent.

Rick Scott

Bill Nel­son

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